Aztec’s exciting baseball season called a ‘Wild ride’

The Corona baseball team defeated Desert Vista 13-3 during the first Baseball Day Arizona on April 12 in a game broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona from Chase Field. — Photo courtesy of David Webb

The No. 4 Arizona-ranked Aztec baseball team has had a wild ride this season. They started the season defeating Skyline 18-8 on Feb. 26 and but then lost their next two games: Basha on Feb. 28, 11-5, and Mesa Mountain View 4-3 on March 1.

Corona then went on a six-game winning streak which included winning the Third Annual Boras Baseball Classic hosted by the Aztecs on March 13.

The Aztecs went undefeated at the Boras Classic after a 4-1 win over Liberty, a 3-2 win over Cottonwood from Salt Lake City, a 3-2 win over Mesquite and a 6-5 win over the No. 1 Arizona- ranked Hamilton in the finals.

Corona then went on a 5-1 winning streak the last two weeks in March before they flew to North Carolina to participate at the USA Baseball National High School Invitational, April 3-6, at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C.

The national high school invitational is an elite tournament where only 16 of the top prep teams in the country are invited to compete against each other in what has become the premier event on the high school baseball calendar Corona was guaranteed four games in this single- elimination tournament. The Aztecs were defeated 4-1 by Monsignor Pace out of Miami, Fla., in the first game on April 3.

On April 4, Corona took the lead against La Mirada in their second game of the tournament when Kaiden Frees hit a line-drive to left field in the first inning, giving Bryan Webb the opportunity to score.

A hit by Brian Kalmer in the top of the third gave the Aztecs a 2-0 lead but La Mirada cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the third.

La Mirada kept the Aztecs scoreless the rest of the game, while the Matadors were able to score two more runs and defeat Corona 3-2.

In their third game, Corona defeated Hendersonville, out of Hendersonville, Tenn., 2-0.

Jack Schobinger pitched seven innings to earn the complete game shutout, striking out four batters in order for the Aztecs to win their first game of the 2019 National High School Invitational.

Frees scored the first run in the bottom of the second, with Corona’s second run scored in the third inning to hold on for their first victory.

On the final day of the tournament, April 6, Corona once again took an early lead in the first inning and then extended that to 3-0 in the third before Huntington Beach scored two runs in the bottom of the third to come within one.

A single by Hunter Haas in the top of the fourth gave the Aztecs a two-run lead, but Huntington Beach scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth to hold on for the win.

After flying back across the country, the Aztecs were destroyed by Desert Vista, 14-0, in five innings in a game played at DV on April 9 but rallied on April 10 in a 16-2 win over Highland.

Corona got a chance, on April 12, to avenge their loss to the Thunder at the first-ever Baseball Day Arizona in a game broadcast by Fox Sports Arizona, with Diamondbacks TV play-by-play announcer Steve

Berthiaume and former Diamondback Luis Gonzalez. Once again, Schobinger threw a complete game in the 13-3 win over the Thunder. Schobinger was able to take command of the strike zone after the Aztec batters scored in the first inning. He was very efficient, throwing only 22 pitches in the first three innings and was able to retire the final 11 batters he faced.

Kalmer, who is headed to ASU next fall, was the offensive star of the first Baseball Day Arizona. He was three for three with a home run in the first inning, two singles, one in the third inning and one in the fifth inning, two RBIs and three runs.

The Aztecs took a 4-0 lead in the first inning on a 375-foot home run by Kalmer and never looked back.

Haas, who committed to Oregon State, had a double and a single with two runs and one RBI.

The Aztecs move to 15-7 on the season and 4-1 in region play with four regular season games left before the state tournament.

Marcos de Niza Baseball

The Padres, ranked No. 14 in Division 4A with an 11-9 regular season record, had their last two regular season games scheduled the week of April 15.

The Padres were also scheduled to recognize their eight senior baseball players before their last home game on April 17 against Seton Catholic.

Matt Bergevin, who plays multiple positions on defense and leads his team in nearly every offensive category, will be honored along with fellow seniors

AJ Montiel, Elias Martinez, Tyler Murphy, Tanner Caballes, Reilly McDonnell, Sam Wynne and Marcus Dominguez.

Bergevin, No. 3 in the batting order, is one the best offensive performers for Marcos with an on-base percentage of 63.2. He has a .490 batting average with 49 at bats, nine doubles and four home runs. He has scored 15 runs on 24 hits in addition to 20 RBIs during the first 18 games of the season.

As a right-handed pitcher for the Padres, Bergevin has pitched over 32 innings facing 142 batters striking out 43. He started five games and appeared on the mound in seven of the first 18 games.

Bergevin is credited with winning four games with one shut out and an earned run average of 2.38, the lowest among the 10 pitchers for Marcos.

When he is not on the mound, Bergevin is playing either first base or third base.

He has accepted a scholarship to play baseball next year as a member of the Concordia University Cavaliers baseball team in Portland, Ore.

Montiel has started seven games and appeared in eight as pitcher for the Padres, where he is credited with winning five games and losing only two. He has pitched more innings, 35, than any other Marcos pitcher so far this season.

Montiel has struck out 35 of the 153 batters he has faced, allowing only 41 hits and 39 runs giving him an ERA of 5.4.

Montiel batted in nine of the first 18 games where he hit two doubles and scored two runs.

Martinez has been at bat 56 times in 17 out of the first 18 games with a .375 batting average scoring 16 runs on 21 hits with eight RBI’s.

As a one of the Padres left-handed pitchers, Martinez has started in three games and pitched 14 innings, striking out 16 of the 72 batters he faced.

Caballes played in 14 out of the first 18 games leading the team in stolen bases going six for six. He was at bat 40 times scoring 11 runs on 14 hits with two RBIs.

McDonnell, infielder for the Padres, played in 13 out of 18 games scoring eight runs on seven hits with six RBI’s on offense. Murphy played in eight games as an outfielder on defense and accumulating a .333 batting average on offense.

Wynne is a left-handed pitcher for Marcos where he played in four games allowing only one hit while striking out five batters while Dominguez played in nine games where he was one for one in stolen bases.

The other 11 members of the Padres baseball team listed on the 2019 team roster include juniors Ethan Galetti, Nate Meyer, Kobe Hernandez, Joshua Matuz and Nathan Patterson and sophomores Zachery Paiz, Rafael Armenta, Jacob Irick, Daniel Rodriguez, Alex Denham and Gage Olson.

Marcos de Niza Softball

The Padres’ softball team were scheduled to honor their five seniors before their last home game, April 16, against Seton Catholic.

Besides taking on the responsibilities of co-captain and playing short-stop on defense for Marcos, Taylor Delgado is one of the offensive leaders on the team.

Delgado started the season with the hottest bat as the leading hitter on the team with a batting average of .750 during the first six games.

During those first six games, Delgado scored nine runs on 15 hits with eight RBIs. She hit four doubles, two triples and one home run. In addition, Delgado was six for six in stolen bases.

Ashley Torres, the other co-captain on the Padres team, playing infielder and outfielder, had a .812 fielding percentage the first six games and was two for two on stolen base attempts.

Ciena Olmos, one of the two main pitchers on the team, along with freshman Isabell Hernandez, pitched 17.2 of 37 innings in the first six game of the season allowing only 14 hits and 15 runs while striking out 16 batters.

Olmas appears in four of the first six games and was the starting pitcher in three. She had an ERA of 3.96 during those four appearances.

Jayden Cirillo, playing in the outfield, had a .750 fielding percentage in five of the first six games.

She put out three batters on four total chances on defense and scored three runs on three hits with four stolen bases in five games.

DeJa Valenzuela, playing in the outfield or on first base during the first six games, had 24 putouts on 28 chances, earning a .857 fielding percentage.

Other members of the team included juniors Jordan Wulfkuehl, Maggie Hernandez and Tianna Rodriguez and sophomores Adriel Garcia, Mackenzie Peter and Arrianna Chiago.

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